Agile leaders understand that good ideas can come from anyone, so they view their job as helping team members learn and take responsibility, rather than telling every team member what to do and how to do it. This frees them up to create more value by focusing on the tasks they are truly best positioned to tackle, such as developing corporate strategy and sponsoring major cross-functional innovations.
To better understand what that means in practical terms, we studied the calendars of senior executives whose companies became Agile organizations. Over the three years it took their firms to fully transition, executives quadrupled the time they spent on strategy and reduced by more than half the time spent on operations management. They also slightly increased the time spent managing talent.